- Naomi Warren, z"l
Please join us in celebrating Holocaust Survivor Naomi Warren’s life by signing her 100th birthday card; watching her video testimony; sharing photos, interviews and videos from her amazing life; and previewing a trailer of a new film, Finding Light, about Ballet Austin’s Light / The Holocaust and Humanity Project, which is dedicated to Naomi and based on her experiences.
Naomi Warren was born on September 1, 1920 and grew up in Wołkowysk, a small city in eastern Poland. Naomi was finalizing arrangements to attend a university in England when Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, her 19th birthday. Shortly after, Soviet troops marched into Poland from the east, occupying her hometown.
In the summer of 1941, Germany overran eastern Poland and began systematically isolating, interning and murdering its Jewish population. Naomi and her husband, Alexander, were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau in January 1942, riding in an airless cattle car that was so crowded they could barely sit down. They were separated when they arrived and Alexander was sent to the men’s camp where he perished several months later. Selected for a labor detail, Naomi resolved to survive. Naomi endured almost three years in Auschwitz-Birkenau. As Soviet troops approached in the beginning of 1945, she and her fellow inmates were sent to Ravensbrück and then to Bergen-Belsen. When the British liberated her there in April 1945, Naomi felt as if “the whole world opened up” for her.
The following year, Naomi came to Houston with the help of her maternal uncle William Salman and her sister Elizabeth Brandon who had settled in the United States before the war. Naomi’s father Samuel had survived the war as an internee in Siberia and he came to the U.S. at the end of 1946. In 1949, Naomi married Martin Warren and together they established a business importing Danish hams to the United States. They had three children—Helen, Geri and Benjamin. Naomi’s legacy lives on at the Museum through the Warren Fellowship for Future Teachers, established by her family in 2000, in honor of her 80th birthday.